He’s been the main reason for their dominance in English football, but after a glorious 27-year-spell as Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he’s going to retire at the end of the season. He’s won 38 trophies during his time in the Old Trafford hotseat, while his success has helped United to become one of the most valuable brands in world sport.
As well as blooding youngsters including David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, he helped to turn the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand, both big-money signings, into bankable superstars. His record of getting the best out of promising youngsters and superstars in the making was unrivalled, as was his success at home and in Europe.
The best ever?
Sir Alex is one of only three British managers to lift the Champions League (European Cup) more than once. Overseeing the amazing comeback victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 final was arguably his finest moment, while winning his first league title with the club in the 1992-93 season was also great, as it helped to start a dominant era for the Reds.
No other manager has won more trophies in England, which begs the question of whether he’s the best manager of all time. Many United fans would answer ‘yes’, while many pundits, players and fellow bosses would probably say the same, as no-one’s come close to winning as much as he has.
Yes way Jose?
The most pressing need for the powers that be at United now is to find someone to fill Fergie’s boots. Jose Mourinho, unhappy at Real Madrid, is one likely candidate, although he could be moving to Chelsea instead. Whoever’s interested in joining, an appointment is needed to calm the markets, where the Reds’ next move is seen as key to their future fortunes on and off the pitch.
United recently announced that income for the third quarter was over £91m, a record figure. This suggests that the new boss should get plenty of money to spend on building their own team, but is that necessarily the case? Analyst Joshua Raymond from City Index explained what’s happening:
“Manchester United’s commercial dominance has been further entrenched within their quarterly numbers. Revenues rose broadly in line with market expectations of close to 30% to £91.7m, whilst the recent success of winning the Premier League will also enable the club to secure more lucrative sponsorship deals and increases the value of the Man United brand.
“There remains an open question however on the sheer volume of sponsorship deals being secured, which may slow but could also impact the long term value of the brand. For now though, these numbers will likely please shareholders”, he added.
United are currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The New York listing was the work of the Glazer family, and was designed to boost income. Any delay in making an appointment could have serious repercussions on both sides of the Atlantic.